Selling on eBay has become extremely competitive, but is there a level playing field for everyone? And are there tools that can help? We asked eBay resellers what they thought about their ability to obtain visibility on eBay, and the survey results are in.
As usual with seller surveys, we found the comments to be a treasure trove that went beyond the raw numbers to reveal the core issues they face. For example, sellers expressed frustration over the inconsistency of sales they observed. One seller compared their pattern of sales to a faucet – sometimes it’s turned on, sometimes it’s turned off. Without the comments sections, we would not have uncovered these sentiments.
We collaborated with contributing columnist Don Heiden who runs the Auction Professor channel on YouTube for eBay resellers. He came up with the topic and together we crafted the survey questions and invited our respective audiences to participate.
Over 1,000 eBay sellers participated over a 5-day period. Half of the respondents (51%) were fulltime sellers, 39% were part-timers, and 10% were “casual” sellers. A majority of sellers (48%) said they sold primarily “antiques / collectibles / memorabilia” on eBay, and many regularly sold on other platforms in addition to eBay.
We asked, “What type of eBay seller are you,” to which participants responded:
Full Time Seller: 51.07%
Part Time Seller: 39.16%
Casual Seller: 9.77%
We asked, “What types of items do you *primarily* sell on eBay,” to which participants responded:
Antiques/ Collectibles / Memorabilia: 48.01%
Clothing / Fashion: 13.44%
Electronics / Household: 8.99%
Health / Beauty: 2.13%
We asked, “On which platforms do you regularly sell in addition to eBay,” to which participants responded:
Classifieds sites: 5.75%
There was a surprisingly large number of platforms cited in “Other.”
Numerous sellers reported selling on Bonanza, Craigslist, eBid, eCrater, and Ruby Lane. Other sites that cited included some large marketplaces (Sears, Wayfair, Walmart); some smaller and niche sites (ABE Books, Alibris, Biblio, Delcampe, Depop, Discogs, GunBroker, Hip, Reverb, Sportlots); auction sites (Heritage, Goldin, Live Auctioneers, PWCC); classifieds sites (Craigslist, Kijiji, OfferUp, VarageSale); social media sites (Instagram, Nextdoor); and international sites (Bidamountlive, Catawiki, Marktplaats, Yahoo Auction Japan).
In addition, many respondents sold on their own website, with some citing their hosting company (BigCommerce, Chrislands, ECWID, Shopify).
And many cited local and in-person channels (local sites, flea markets, antique fairs, church fairs, garage sales, consignment stores, auction galleries, brick & mortar stores, local newspaper).
In part two, we dig in to the first part of the survey results: seller satisfaction with their visibility on eBay. In part three (to be published later this week), we’ll wrap up with a look at the tools and strategies sellers are using to boost their visibility on eBay.